NJ/NY Gotham FC star Ali Krieger has had a great final year as a professional soccer player. The NWSL legend ended the year with the Bats as the NWSL Champions. She had never lifted the coveted trophy, so the win was fitting as she readied for retirement.
Meanwhile, despite having played her last USWNT match in 2021, the national team finally decided to honor Krieger before the game against China. It was a long time coming. Of course, she should have been celebrated once her national career came to an end, but she did not get that. At least she is being celebrated now rather than never.
Ali Krieger was celebrated by the USWNT
Hours before the game, the Gotham FC captain was honored with a video by the USWNT. At just over a minute, it showed highlights of Krieger's career, including the World Cup celebrations. In the end, the video thanked her for her contributions to the national team.
Prior to kickoff, the USWNT celebrated Krieger by giving her a framed shirt with her 108 caps on the back. This is customary, but not every player will receive such a gift. The stadium announcer briefly spoke about her as well before pictures were taken. The sweetest moment was when some of her family came out with flowers and took pictures. The defender's kids might be too young to understand their mother's legacy, but these moments captured in time will help teach about her career.
Of course, the USWNT used social media to honor Krieger throughout the day. She deserves all of the thanks that she can get, especially since she could not have a celebration by playing one final game in 2021.
As Krieger hangs up her boots, her dedication to the USWNT will not be forgotten. Her career, including the NWSL Championship win with NJ/NY Gotham FC, will forever live in the history of US Soccer.